Press Release Headlines

UC San Diego and The Atlantic Announce The Atlantic Meets the Pacific — A Forum at the Horizon of Technology, Energy, and Health from October 17-19, 2011

LA JOLLA, Calif. and WASHINGTON, Aug. 10, 2011 — The University of California San Diego and The Atlantic announce a new forum, The Atlantic Meets the Pacific, dedicated to the exploration of next frontiers. To be held October 17-19, 2011 at premier venues on and around the campus of UC San Diego, the event will bring audiences thought-provoking conversations addressing new frontiers in science, medicine, technology, and energy against the backdrop of this rapidly globalizing world.

To register for The Atlantic Meets the Pacific, please visit the registration site or

The program will feature speakers who work on the cusp of "what's next," including serial entrepreneur Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors, interviewed by The Atlantic's James Fallows; spiritual guru Dr. Deepak Chopra and Caltech physicist and author Leonard Mlodinow in conversation with Atlantic editor James Bennet; a headline interview with Twitter co-founder Evan Williams; and computer game design pioneer and Sims creator Will Wright interviewed by The Atlantic's Alexis Madrigal. Additional speakers will be announced throughout the summer.

Event attendees will also witness innovation first-hand. Many of the conversations will take place at the Scripps Seaside Forum, an ocean-front conference center facility located in the heart of the renowned UC San Diego Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO). The event will include behind-the-scenes tours at SIO, UC San Diego's Calit2 digital media laboratory and Moores Cancer Center, The Scripps Research Institute, and the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute. The final day of the event will take place at a world-renowned architectural landmark, the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, founded in 1960 by polio vaccine pioneer Jonas Salk, M.D.

"Throughout its history, The Atlantic has drawn together provocative writers and thinkers to debate the ideas shaping our world. In that tradition, this forum will gather leading voices from the fields of science, technology, energy, and medicine to discuss our future at a time of unprecedented global challenges," said James Bennet, editor of The Atlantic. "We're excited to be joining with the University of California San Diego to foster conversation about cutting-edge ideas.

"The Atlantic Meets the Pacific aims to be the ideal forum in which the imagination, inventions and innovations shaping the future will be engaged by thoughtful, influential voices from around the country and the world," said Mary Walshok, UC San Diego associate vice chancellor of public programs and dean of Extension, the host of the event.

Since its founding in 1857 as a magazine about "the American Idea," The Atlantic has been at the vanguard of brave thinking in journalism. Beginning in 2005, The Atlantic has partnered with the Aspen Institute to bring national and global leaders together to discuss the ideas and trends shaping the world at the Aspen Ideas Festival and, since 2009, at the Washington Ideas Forum. The Atlantic Meets the Pacific expands upon that tradition with a focus on looking forward to what the future might hold.

The new West Coast partnership seems a perfect fit. Nestled on the Pacific Ocean in the enclave of La Jolla, UC San Diego is one of the nation's most accomplished research universities. Renowned for its collaborative, diverse and cross-disciplinary ethos that transcends traditional boundaries in science, arts and the humanities, the university's award-winning scholars are experts at the forefront of their fields with an impressive track record for achieving scientific, medical and technological breakthroughs.

"It is remarkable how much is invented in California," reflected conference speaker Musk, the 40-year-old serial entrepreneur who transformed the Internet with his e-payment company PayPal, invented the first viable electric car of the modern era at Tesla Motors and also went on to start SpaceX, the first private company to launch a rocket into space. Musk, an immigrant of South African-Canadian heritage who came to Stanford University to pursue a Ph.D., says it is not necessarily the people who were born in California. "It's just that people come here because this is an environment that is really conducive to invention."

The goal of the event is to engage a national constituency of CEOs, philanthropists, civic officials and media leaders in some of the most exciting developments shaping America and the world, linking the strengths of the traditional achievements of the Atlantic Coast with the promising ideas and opportunities emerging from the Pacific Coast.

Underwriters of The Atlantic Meets the Pacific include Chevron and Merrill Lynch Wealth Management.

To register for The Atlantic Meets the Pacific, please visit the registration site or


Henry DeVries
Assistant Dean, UC San Diego Extension

Natalie Raabe
Communications Director, The Atlantic

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